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Building a Personal Brand
That Will Boost Your Career
The word “personal” is usually associated with things that function according to one’s preferences and standards. With personal branding, however, it’s the complete opposite.
Survey analysts at Hill + Knowlton Strategies define brand as “the sum of perceptions, held primarily by a company’s current and potential customers or clients, about a company’s specific product, service, or line of products or services.”
People need a complete set of hard skills to be a great professional. When practicing personal branding, they must have the skills that will support their brand and help them attain it completely. Without this, their personal brand is weak. Such skills are influenced by other people’s preferences, perceptions, and reactions.
While personal branding is concerned with customer preferences and perceptions, it is primarily focused on improving an individual who is establishing their own brand.
Below is a list of skills you’ll need when practicing personal branding, along with insights on what you need to know about hard skills, aka the skills you use for your career.
Do you wonder why you have more talent when compared to others but are never recognized for it?
There are many smart and talented people in the world, yet only a few get the recognition they deserve.
You may think that you are a revolutionary art director, a visionary business owner, or an entirely different professional with the potential to succeed, but those won’t be true unless you let people know. You won’t find your big break if you don’t put yourself out there.
Whether you like it or not, interpersonal skills will take you to the top.
If you aspire to build a successful career, you must socialize with people to expand your follower base. Opportunities fly away when you fail to put your skills in the spotlight.
People may generally link interpersonal skills to those in marketing, sales, customer relations, and any other business-related industry. However, today, the world requires people to strengthen their interpersonal skills, especially if they wish to be successful.
Having great interpersonal skills starts with committing, learning, and applying them. This will require you to develop guts you have never had before. Meditate on the social world of professionals while staying positive, knowing you can master such skills in time.
Have you ever been in an awkward situation where you can’t fully comprehend what the other person is telling you?
One way to clarify is by asking them to repeat what they said. But if you are in a totally different situation, or if the message calls for a quick response, what do you do?
When others tend to say something unclear, people go beyond the boundaries of verbal communication to look for the nonverbal. You look for external cues that can help you understand what was said.
According to Susanne Jones, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota, nonverbal communication helps make sense of what we feel or think about others. She says that this also makes up about 65 to 75 percent of the communication quotient, so without a doubt plays a significant role in communication.
More than half of what people say comes through actions or gestures. This means that people mostly comprehend thoughts through body language. By sending out the wrong behavioral signals, you can change how other people react to you.
Dressing Up Skills
Many use fashion to make a statement. Just like body language, the way people dress also says something about them.
Through clothes, people can express what mood they are in or how they want others to see them.
At work, people dress presentably to create a positive image of themselves. By dressing differently, people will form an impression of who you are and therefore have an initial idea on how to treat you.
Clothing plus communication skills determine whether or not others will comply with your request, trust you with information, give you access to decision makers, pay you a certain salary or fee for contracted business, hire you, or purchase your products and services,"
Darlene Price, author of "Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results”
How people present themselves has a great effect on their career. In addition, their behavior and appearance affects their relationship with co-workers.
Having nonverbal skills or mastering passive communication veers us from making the wrong impression.
It’s important that you have a clear idea of what kind of impression you want others to have of you and that you are diligent enough to take steps to achieve it.
Be mindful of other people’s impressions, especially when interacting with them. When you go to work, make sure you have the energy and patience to attend to other people. When you dress, dress simply. Don’t distract, don’t be disrespectful, and don’t be lazy. Showing too much skin and wearing improper attire are some of the basic no-no’s when dressing as a professional.
Social Media and Blogging Skills
In the professional world, social media is the gateway to a person’s career development. It has become a platform where you can expand your connections and gather followers.
Professional social media sites like LinkedIn have helped thousands of workers develop their careers by exposing them to opportunities like features and options they share with other professionals.
By using social media, people display themselves as open books ready for career growth.
Blogs, on the other hand, vary according to their purpose. Whether one serves as a repository of knowledge or a platform for exchanging experiences, a blog helps a person’s work become known to the world.
In an article, Antonio Cangiano, who testified that blogging has landed him a job at IBM, said, “Because of my blogs, but primarily my programming one, I’ve received countless job offers over the years, including some from a selection of the largest and most sought after [sic] companies in the world.”
His number one piece of advice for professionals who want to build their careers is to “start blogging today.”
Such platforms are unnecessary for work but remain as career must-haves. Because of blogging and social media, professionals reach more potential employers, customers, partners, or investors than in their office alone.
Someone you know may already have tried social media marketing and blogging for personal branding. Observe how it works for them. Research which types of content are best to write and, most of all, focus on how to sustain your social media accounts and website.
The easiest way to gauge yourself as an expert is by output.
How did you spend your first years as an employee? Do you continue to improve? Have you achieved or learned anything significant? Or did you do the same things you were asked to do upon starting?
Whether it’s art or media, engineering or architecture, business or medicine, everybody needs to learn and reinvent themselves every once in a while.
Being a professional doesn’t stop with being a diligent worker. Being confident to say you are competitive means being sure that you have what it takes to be at the top of your profession.
It’s a competitive world out there. Be aware of the current events related to your profession. Is there an innovation, a new course, or a new discovery? Whatever they may be, you should be the first to know.
Continue to educate yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s from a book or a seminar as long as you know that you can always grow as a professional.
When you practice personal branding, you are your own PR, endorser, manager, and body of organization. When you commit to it, what you show people every day should be your desired brand.
Learn to compose yourself. Just by behavior, one can easily get an impression of who you are. Always find ways to showcase your skills because no one will ever know that you have something to show unless you bring it forward. Get on the web to get your work the credit it deserves. Lastly, continue to improve so you can be confident in marketing yourself as an expert.
Carry these skills as your daily arsenal. They should be useful throughout your career.
Also, remember to stay true to yourself. The purpose of personal branding is to highlight the original you with skills that prepare you in becoming successful, career-wise.
- Cangiano, Antonio. ”Why Every Professional Should Consider Blogging.” Technical Blogging. January 28, 2012. www.technicalblogging.com/why-every-professional-should-consider-blogging
- Lempert, Ian. “Brand and Reputation: Is There a Difference?”. Business2Community. September 11, 2013. www.business2community.com/branding/brand-reputation-difference-0592379
- Schwartz, Leslie Contreras. “Nonverbal Communication With Workplace Interactions.” Chron. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/nonverbal-communication-workplace-interactions-844.html
- Smith, Jacquelyn. “Here’s How Your Clothing Affects Your Success.” Business Insider. August 19, 2014. www.businessinsider.com/how-your-clothing-impacts-your-success-2014-8
About the Author
Rick Enrico is the CEO and Founder of SlideGenius, Inc.